Monday, July 04, 2011

'Into Eternity'

Here are a few half-thoughts (predictable for those who know my views) about Into Eternity, which I watched last night.

1. This is an outstanding piece of work. Do go out of your way to give it the time and attention it deserves.

2. Andrei Tarkovsky already made this movie. It was called Stalker.

3. A viewing of Into Eternity reinforces my view that it is corrupt and wrong to continue to increase the amount of nuclear waste unless and until we have proven and economically sane solutions as to what to do with that waste and we ensure that those who profit from new investment in nuclear power also bear their fare share of the liabilities and long term costs it imposes.

4. It would be good to see a thorough investigation of what the options are for (third, fourth generation...) nuclear power, and what prospects there may be for rendering nuclear waste, not least plutonium, less dangerous. A participant in Into Eternity says that it is theoretically possible to make transform waste into harmless substances but not practical to do so, but the film takes the issue no further. This assertion does need to be explored and tested in many fora, including non-technical documentary film.

5. The reality in the UK seems to be rather different from Finland/Sweden. Sellafield, where ... tonnes of plutonium are ‘temporarily’ stored on the surface in what is by some accounts a Steptoe and Son operation, with chaotic record keeping and people routinely ignoring alarms when they go off. Britain has at least £70 billion of liabilities in remediation at this and other sites to meet before we even start on something new. Meanwhile, as a polity, we are not yet anywhere remotely approaching serious regarding potential alternatives. We invest, according to one account, around £12m (20p per capita) per year into renewable energy generation and storage (wind, solar, hydrogen etc) R&D.

6. Watch this clip:

Note: Thanks to Jessie Tegin and OpenCity UCL for sending a copy of the film

P.S. There is a campaign to stop new nuclear power stations in Britain.

P.S. 5 July: George Monbiot has a useful commentary here, to which I have added my one penny worth of response here.

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